(COLO) – According to crash data collected by the Colorado State Patrol on statewide incidents investigated by troopers, two crash factors lead the list of what is behind the violent trend of fatal crashes across the state: lane violations and driving while impaired. Of the fatal crashes investigated by the Colorado State Patrol from January through July 2022, 21.6% were caused by a driver traveling outside of their designated lane and 18% were caused by a driver getting behind the wheel while impaired by alcohol, marijuana and/or other controlled substances.
“When you act rashly and irresponsibly behind the wheel, you are demonstrating your lack of concern for every grandparent, child, uncle and mother on the road with you,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “There is a reason we all went through hours of instruction and had to take a test to earn a license. It is a privilege and with it comes responsibility.”
As simple as it sounds to stay centered in a lane, the Colorado State Patrol has responded to over 375 injury and fatal crashes in the first six months of 2022 due to lane violations. A driver’s primary or “default” position for normal circumstances is to drive so that the vehicle (not the driver) is in the center of the lane with equal amounts of space on both sides of the vehicle.
In addition, troopers have issued 2,936 citations for impaired driving from January through July 2022.
“Law enforcement knows the telltale signs of impaired driving, like lane violations, and go out of their way to stop it because of the deadly consequences of this inexcusable choice to drive intoxicated,” explained Chief Packard. “As a result, being arrested for impaired driving imposes some of the harshest penalties and will have a significant impact on a person’s life.”
Impaired driving is a serious concern in communities of all sizes across the state of Colorado. Looking at 2022 data for the first six months, Colorado State Patrol arrested the most drivers for DUI/D in these top five counties:
- El Paso – 342
- Adams - 252
- Jefferson – 218
- Weld – 211
- Mesa – 177
Colorado State Troopers are continuing to take a low-tolerance approach to lane violations while launching a yearlong campaign called “Stay in Your Lane.” This campaign is designed to remind people to control their lane position based on their current driving environment. The campaign also aims to bring attention to three of the most common and avoidable behaviors that contribute to lane violations - driving aggressively, driving distracted and driving while impaired.
ABOUT THE COLORADO STATE PATROL
Since our origin in 1935, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) has focused on preserving human life and protecting property within our communities. Our 1,100 members embody the core values of Honor, Duty, and Respect in their daily jobs. In addition to our expertise in motor vehicle safety on the state’s roadways, the CSP is responsible for the Governor and other dignitaries’ protection, commercial motor vehicle enforcement, hazardous materials, homeland security, communications, investigative services, criminal interdiction, community education, aviation operations, and more.